Yesterday's e-mail from Tony Perkins' Family Research Council laid the blame for the weekend's tragic shootings at a Colorado mission and church at the feet of the dreaded secular media. "It's not hard to draw a line," Perkins wrote, "between the hostility that is being fomented in our culture from some in the secular media toward Christians and evangelicals in particular and the acts of violence that took place in Colorado yesterday." But then this morning came the news that the shooter, who was raised in a "deeply religious Christian household," may have been motivated by revenge after being kicked out of the Youth With A Mission school several years ago.
Imagine Perkins' reaction if the "secular media" suggests that it was religion, not secularism, that drove this very disturbed person's horrific violence. Such an argument is just as flimsy as Perkins placing the blame on secularism, and rest assured if anyone makes it, Perkins will pounce on it as evidence of anti-Christian bias. The anti-secular argument, however, is frequently pulled out to explain senseless bloodshed; Rod Parsley made that argument to explain the Virginia Tech shootings. If people like Perkins and Parsley really cared about putting an end to such depraved violence, they would start talking about increased access to mental health counseling and stricter enforcement of gun control laws instead of caricaturing legitimate critiques of their manipulation of religion to serve their political ends.